1/17/2018 0 Comments
New Classes for Freki and Rezso
After graduating Basic Obedience Level I, we've moved on to Level 2! This is prep work for Rezso's Canine Good Citizenship certification. He's working hard on accepting new situations, and is already a hit at Lowe's and PetCo, and he's even a seasoned traveler with a weekend stay in a hotel.
Not to mention, he's a whiz at his lessons and loves to help with the laundry. (That's his story, and he's sticking to it.) But, seriously, he is learning to pick up things I drop and carry them for me. But more on that on another post.
We also enrolled Freki in a class. She has a difficult time accepting other/strange dogs and we'd all but given up on being able to take her places with us where we knew there were other dogs.. Thanks to a wonderful trainer who took time to work with her and assured us it was a lack of confidence, not aggression, that fueled her bad behavior, we got up the courage to ask the trainers at Canine Sports Academy if we could give class a try.
They were welcoming and helpful, and it has been wonderful to see Freki slowly losing her preoccupation with the other dogs in her class and focusing more on what dad is asking her to do.
Attempting to stand on wobbly discs, rubber 'peanuts' (see the red ball in the background?) or any of the other activities in this class puts her in a somewhat vulnerable position (to her mind). Not to mention there are other dogs happily going about the same stunts only a few feet away. It's a bit noisy and challenging with Rezso just outside the ring shouting encouragement. But Freki is surpassing our expectations!
Way to go, Freki! Can't wait to see where you go from here!
5/5/2016 0 Comments
Ben's log: 05/05/16
This is me, last summer. I really like playing in the pool, but I'm not supposed to be jumping or bouncing or any of the really fun things corgis do, because I've hurt my neck. Or maybe it's my shoulder. I can't really tell anyone what happened, so they're helping the best they can.
Saw the chiropractor again today. I really like her--at first. She pets me and I get out of my little room for a while. Not so sure I like it when she finds my sore spots, but they keep telling me it'll make me better.
I do feel a lot better after she leaves. And I get to wear the pink shirt with an ice pack. The cold really feels good on my neck. My head is able to turn better, and my knee--which I knocked out of place sometime earlier--was still where it should be today. So I guess her manipulations are helping. They're just ouchy.
Oh, and I get shoulder massages and lots of time in Mom's lap. That's pretty cool.
It's hard to understand why I can't jump around like I used to. I really want to. I want to leap off the porch with the big dogs and play in the swimming pool. Everyone keeps telling me to take it easy, but I have so much energy!!
I heard I may be getting a swimming pool to actually swim in, since the muscles in my leg need building up. I think they called it a 'horse trough'. I'll let you know.
4/26/2016 0 Comments
Wonderful Wednesday- gardening
Well, the greenhouse is empty, and the garden is full.
Last year we built two raised gardens, each 4'X8'. We had torrential rains that spring, and we believe the 'good' stuff leached out of the carefully prepared soil. We had moderate success.
This year, I've mixed plenty of compost from a variety of sources into the soil. I also started seedlings in the greenhouse (I wouldn't even care to imagine the fun Angus the Cat would have had with the seedlings and their pots of wonderful soil had I attempted this in the house), and did my best to get everything in the ground on time.
After rearranging the soaker hose, the lettuce plants went in, followed by the tomatoes and peppers. You can see the lavender and sage, both with lovely purple flowers, and catnip that survived the winter. The onions and garlic went in several weeks earlier, though it's hard to see them in these photos. In an attempt to save the lettuce from the hot sun, I rigged a bit of a tarp overhead.
The tomato seedlings did very well, and I planted 5 in the garden on the right, then put 3 more in pots just because I couldn't stand to toss them out. They're starting to perk up after the transplanting. The largest tomato plants have flowers and the tiniest tomatoes on them!
I added marigolds in and around the garden, as well as a cluster of sunflowers on the far end of the garden. Everything is changing so fast! I love this time of year!
I love to see plants come up in the garden. This year I planted a lot of seeds and started them in the greenhouse, hoping for a nice head-start to my gardening venture. To my delight, most of them sprouted and grew nicely.
But when it came time to plant them in the garden, I realized two things. 1) I had planted too much lettuce for the space I'd alloted, and 2) summertime comes quickly here, and they'll soon begin wilting in the heat.
My solution? A bit of an experiment, really. I wanted to try growing the lettuce plants indoors, as effectively as possible, and without soil.
This is what I came up with. Each plastic tub has a water/fertilizer mixture in it. I'm mixing a couple of fertilizers, so I'll let you know how they work. The plants in the tub to the right are in cups with orchid mix to help support them. There are holes in the cups so the water gets in and the roots can grow through.
The tub on the left has much smaller holes and no cups. The plants go directly into the water beneath the lid. I stretched a piece of plastic wrap across the top to help support the plants until they get big enough to not fall through the holes in the lid.
In each tub there is an aerator from an aquarium with a single pump powering both. This should help keep the water aerated and from becoming a stagnant mess.
Each lettuce plant had only two leaves when I 'planted' them a bit over a week ago. Can you see how much they've grown? I placed a grow lamp above them, and they seem to be doing quite well in my cobbled together experiment. Any suggestions for a set-up like this?
4/20/2016 0 Comments
Wonderful Wednesday in April
Today's post is about Ben. It's been a while since I've posted here, and we've been pretty busy.
Ben is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which means his little legs are quite short, though his bones are by no means 'miniature'. His back is also very long, which can predispose him to back issues.
Ben has always been an active dog. He bounces everywhere, from beating out the German Shepherds for thrown balls, to leaping into my arms (his trick, not mine. This sturdy guy can knock you down!). He can leap vertically 4 feet in the air from a standstill. Fortunately, he hasn't been able to put any horizontal moves with that particular stunt, or he'd be on the counter tops for sure.
A couple of months ago, we noticed he''d become quite the couch potato. Age? (He's only 6) Fed up with the boisterous German Shepherds? (they are rambunctious!) Just because he can and the others aren't allowed on the couch? (They're much too big). Everything else checked great. No change in appetite (ever met a corgi that turned down food?), very alert and playful when off the couch, loved one-on-one play and cuddles.
And then he began limping. Right front foot only. We assumed he'd taken a spill playing with the others. They aren't allowed completely unsupervised play, but there are times I'd step inside for something and Ben doesn't back down just because he's a third the other dogs' sizes.
Assuming it was a soft tissue injury- a strain or sprain- we treated conservatively. No amount of manipulating the leg or foot caused him obvious pain, so we ruled out a fracture. We noticed he was brighter, bouncier while on his medication, but he still limped. We tried for another round of meds, then X-rays when the limping didn't go away. We set up a trip to the local vet school, but had to cancel, and setting up a new one was weeks away. Then, Ben started showing signs of pain.
We're now 1 week into 4 weeks of strict confinement, treating a bulging disc. It could have happened any of a dozen ways, or he could have simply been predisposed to this sort of thing from the way he's built. He still wants to run and jump, so this has been really hard and you can't convince him of the consequences. He used to charge up and down the steps, but that's a huge no-no for him now, so I built him a ramp. He didn't like it at first, so I put tape on it to show him the edges, and he did better. I also put no-slip stickers on the wood between the slats (for bathtub and shower floors), and that has helped even more. He's becoming a pro.
He'll go back to the vet in 3 weeks for a recheck, and we pray he will have healed enough to keep on this regimen. If not, we're looking at a trip to the vet school for a surgical consult, and the outcome will be grim at that point.
We could use your prayers.
This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
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